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Tokyo 2020: Sarah Storey wins 16th gold medal

sarah storey
sarah storey Image credit: news.sky.com

Dame Sarah Storey has won her 16th gold at the Tokyo Paralympic Games making her the joint most successful Paralympian of all time.

If she claims victory in just one more event the 43-year-old will overtake swimmer Mike Kenny who achieved 16 gold medals between 1976 and 1988.

Dame Sarah won her latest medal in the early hours of Tuesday morning when she came first at the time-trail C5.

Born without a functioning left hand Dame Sarah now faces a nail-biting C4-C5 road race on Thursday, an event she won at London 2012 and Rio 2016, which could see her become the most successful GB Paralympic athlete of all time.

Her first appearance at a Paralympic game was in Barcelona 1992 when she won two golds, three silvers and a bronze.

She continued swimming events at Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, before turning to biking at Beijing 2008.

Ahead of Tokyo 2020 Storey said:  "To reach that target - it's almost a target I didn't realise I needed - but it's so close now and it's really, really exciting to think this opportunity gives me this chance to take it.

"My biggest motivating factor is really to be the best version of me, to be able to produce my very best performances. But to be able to come out of it with some additional success is obviously hugely motivating.

"I know I will have done absolutely everything to the nth degree and rehearsed and rehearsed to make sure I produce the very best performance that I can, so hopefully the outcome can take care of itself."

Storey put training on hold between June 2020 and June 2021 because of the pandemic, but earlier this year she carried on her winning streak in Portugal earlier this year claiming victory in the time trail and the C5 road race.

She told Sky News: "I think the world champs gave me a huge amount of confidence.

"To come out on top and for everything to be probably ahead of where I expected it to be, if I'm honest, was really exciting.

"There's an element of, 'Well, I haven't raced on the track, how's that going to feel?' but I've always been a huge training animal, right back to my days in the pool."

There was also gold for ParalympicsGB Ben Watson in the men’s cycling C3 time trial and a bronze for George Peasgood in the C4 event.

Lora Fachie and pilot Corrine Hall took silver in the woman’s B time trail track cycling and swimmer Reece Dunn achieved a new world record when he won the SM14 200m individual medley.

Dame Sarah Storey is a member of the IPC Athletes’ Council.